There are few things more soul-crushing than the dull white hue of fluorescent office lighting. Unfortunately, natural lighting isn’t always an option for offices stuck in the center of a large building, but Mitsubishi thinks it’s now able to create a convincing facsimile with a cleverly designed LED skylight that simulates daylight patterns.
Of course, Mitsubishi isn’t the first to try to emulate daylight with what is essentially a big LED screen, but there are a few things that set this particular approach apart.
While most LED solutions just spread light in all directions, sunlight is more directional. To emulate this effect, Mitsubishi’s ‘Misola’ panels use a recessed frame that only has three sides lit at any moment, creating a sharp shadow that makes it seem the light source is far away (like, you know, the sun).
That blue you see isn’t just a simple blue tint either; the panel uses a special light filter that generates rayleigh scattering – the same thing that makes skies blue. Furthermore, the color changed throughout the day, imitating the different lighting of the mid-day sun against sunrise and sunset. These can be scheduled manually, or switched automatically.
Don’t expect to just be able to buy one of these in Home Depot and plop it your woefully underlit apartment. It’s primarily intended for offices, hospitals, and other commercial spaces, and it costs a pretty penny too; the light starts around $6,200 for the manually timed version and goes over $6,800 for the automated one. If you’ve got that kind of cash though, you’ll be able to purchase one in October 2020.